Donald J. Trump’s appointment of Peter Thiel to his Presidential transition team evoked excitement in Bitcoiners worldwide. Since his appointment, Peter Thiel has kept an editable list of possible technologists to join Mr. Trump’s administration on an iPad.
While not every person Mr. Thiel has reportedly considered for Trump’s administration is a Bitcoin enthusiast, some of those he is considering have outlined thorough opinions on the cryptocurrency invented in 2008. One, Balaji Srinivasan, heads one of the most celebrated Bitcoin firms in the space, 21.
21 is one of the most futuristic companies in the Bitcoin space. It’s received hundreds of millions of capital. The company created an “embedded mining” computer. It’s basically a computer for Bitcoin.
“The 21 Bitcoin Computer is the fastest way for developers to learn Bitcoin,” according to 21.co. “It has everything you need to build your first app in a weekend: a micropayments server, a full copy of the Blockchain, and a command line interface for programmatically mining, buying, and selling digital goods for bitcoin.” Mr. Srinivasan holds similar anti-totalitarian beliefs as Mr. Thiel
Max Levchin, another technologist considered by Mr. Thiel, has said that Bitcoin as an asset class is “ridiculous,” but has positive things to say about Bitcoin.
The math behind the original paper, which I read it a many, many times before I decided I actually believed it, is beautiful. It is one of the more impressive piece of, it’s not quite pure math but it’s math at its core, it’s awesome. The fact that it’s a distributed ledger without a third-party trust system is awesome, and a fundamental breakthrough.
Despite such positive comments, Mr. Levchin is unconvinced by its long-term prospects.
Not all of those to whom Mr. Thiel has reached out regarding a spot on Mr. Trump’s team have public opinions on Bitcoin.
Blake Masters, who co-authored the book Zero to One with Thiel, and is President of the Thiel Foundation, has been quiet on the crypto-currency. Joe Lonsdale, who is also on Thiel’s list, has been quiet on Bitcoin, though people have been curious about his thoughts. Mr. Lonsdale runs OpenGov, which provides web-based financial visualizations for state and local governments.
It seems that Balaji Srinivasan could find himself in a unique situation to influence powerful people in their thinking on cryptocurrency.
“The chance to influence the government is a huge opportunity,” said Jack Abraham, a serial entrepreneur who is executive director of the Thiel Fellowship. “There are people who are repulsed by Trump, and it’s understandable – Silicon Valley is very liberal. But it’s unfortunate [that some people don’t want to contribute] because this is a unique opportunity for smart people to inject ideas.”
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